Slow Cotswolds

  • Happy Golden Anniversary to the Cotswolds AONB

    Who doesn't like a party? Especially if the party doesn't mean standing in a crowded room trying to juggle a wine glass, the flimsiest of cardboard plates and being jostled by the waiters every few seconds as they thrust another plate of not-quite-sure-what-that-is canapes under your nose.

    The Cotswolds as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty marks its 50th anniversary this year and your celebration of the Cotswolds could just as easily be a jolt to the senses from the electricity of bluebells in Whichford Wood, awakened by the views of the Severn Vale from Uley Bury or raising a glass in one of the Cotswolds' finest hostelries. Why not make a celebratory weekend of it, relaxing in one of the many welcoming hotels or cosy cottages?

    You might want to give something back to an area that has given so much pleasure to countless visitors over the decades, nay centuries. For while the Cotswolds as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is fifty years old, the overall area is much, much older, dating back to the Romans when they built sheep enclosures (the 'Cotes') on the hillsides (the 'wolds) and introduced the Cotswold sheep breed. Your giving something back could be a weekend learning about dry-stone walling, which actually involves creating a part of a Cotswolds' dry-stone wall - just one of the very things that make the Cotswolds look and feel the way they do. The Cotswolds Conservation Board runs dry-stone walling couses - for anyone that wants to find out more about the area, not just people looking for a garden feature - as a part of its traditional Rural Skills series.

    If that sounds a bit heavy on the hands, there are also weekend creative courses offered especially as a part of the celebrations in drawing, painting, weaving and photography. These allow visitors to observe and capture the outstanding natural beauty as you learn. Lots of other celebratory events are planned too including The Golden Anniversary Walk - walking the Cotswold Way, the Cotswolds Touring Memory Cafe, visiting cafes throughout the area between May and November and, one for the diary, the Cotswolds Living Landscape Festival to be held at Lodge Park and the Sherborne Estate on Sunday 18th September. This will be a celebration of all that is created, produced and inspired by the Cotswold landscape. I'll keep you posted on this blog but you can find out more, meantime, from the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

    Happy Anniversary!

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